Review: The first thing Life has successfully proven is: space horror is still helluva sub-genre. While most space-themed films recently focus on breaking more grounds with cerebral sci-fi euphoria, Daniel Espinosa’s latest feature confidently takes a retro influence to remind us of that notion.
Life opens with approx. 7-minute continuous shot (that suddenly reminds me to Gravity’s opening) revolving around the space-life of 6 crew members of ISS, who at one night make the greatest breakthrough in humanity’s space voyage history: an organic evidence of extraterrestrial form in Mars. The alien being, at first, seems hazardless as a single-cell form; but, then some conditionings ‘awake’ the creature – dubbed as Calvin – to its incredible form: all cells are muscular, neural and photoreceptive – or simply, all cells are muscle, brain, and eyes at once. While the whole world is awe-struck, a noob-mistake in the space station lab triggers a butterfly effect that leads to what I’ve mentioned previously: space horror. Continue reading Life (2017) – Review
Review: To the glorified 90s kids, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was an all-time phenomenon. Five candy-colored heroes in costume (well, sometimes six), guided by a hologram face and an android, fight fancy-designed monsters – who can morph into giant form – with mecha-assembles called zord. It’s an immortal childhood memories for those kids; and immortal money pit for the makers, hence the new Lionsgate adaptation, Power Rangers.
This new Power Rangers starts with a new invention to the Power Rangers myth where Zordon (Bryan Cranston) sacrificed himself to protect ‘Zeo crystal’ from his treacherous ex-Ranger-mate, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Million years later, the battleground is now a small city called – yes you’re right – Angel Grove, where five teenagers: Jason (Dacre Montgomerry, Stranger Things), Billy (RJ Cycler, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.) reside. As predictable as ever, Power Rangers follows the ‘usual plot’; but what can you expect from a Rangers film but fun and campiness? Continue reading Power Rangers (2017) – Review
Review: I once wrote an abridged history of Beauty and the Beast roots on my review of Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête. How this beautiful French lore has evolved, added more insight and backstories, and represented social issues from time to time alone has already made an intriguing tale. While adaptations and re-imaginings have altered it from the root, there’s one thing that never fades: the magic.
I can’t still see ‘the whys’ of Disney’s decision to remake their Renaissance animation with a live-action feature; yet, I can put aside that concerns. They’ve done it well with Cinderella (2014) by having courage and being kind and staying true to its root; and The Jungle Book (2016) by fulfilling the bare necessities. And for Beauty and the Beast, I can say that this live-action re-telling is not a must, but it’s necessary. Continue reading Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review
Review: Based on best-selling memoir ‘The Naked Traveler’ (13 series, so far), Trinity, The Nekad Traveler is basically an almost plot-less re-enactment of how and why Trinity (the author) wrote her traveling journal. It is merely a hundred minute of TraVlog, which surprisingly has enough drama to blur the main point of the book and enough travel quotes to pin in Pinterest.
Trinity, energetically portrayed by Maudy Ayunda, unravels her motivation of writing journals about traveling in her blog (and finally her books). Educated to be an independent girl since she was little, grown-up Trinity ends up being ‘the one with most stories during family gathering’ for her traveling hobby. Nowadays, she’s paid to travel and write, but then, she’s only an employee of a company led by Mrs. Boss (Ayu Dewi, practically steals the whole show) and she needs to get as many leaves as possible to travel. She has many dreams to travel to many places, therefore, she writes a bucket list. So, here’s an ‘inspiring’ story of how to escape life and travel more to tick off your bucket list. Continue reading Trinity, The Nekad Traveler (2017): An unsympathetic, uninspiring and preachy travlog
Review: Oscar winner, Matthew McConaughey gone method portrays an inspired-by-true-figure prospector, Kenny Wells, in Stephen Gaghan’s Gold. Born with silver spoon, inherited father’s wealth, and ended up as a loser, that’s how Kenny’s life ventures. McConaughey looks hideous and vexing at the same time as ambitious Kenny – bald, black-lunged and pot-bellied; he almost looks like Christian Bale in American Hustle. However hideous he looks, but this man is the epicenter of this greed-ridden adventure – The Wolf of the Wall Street from the jungle.
Inspired by a real event about world’s biggest gold hunt scandal in Indonesia, which cost investors millions of dollars, Gold is never a sympathetic story. You wouldn’t be surprised if this Kenny man brings apocalypse to stock market. He’s innocently ambitious and greedy at the same time. He often claims that what he sees isn’t money, but gold; but, in fact, the prospects of money plus some daddy issues got him blinded. I almost admire his persistence; but getting admiration isn’t really his best aptitude. While the million dollar (or 24 carat) fraud is a big serious deal to tell; Gold practically is McConaughey’s one-man show. Continue reading Gold (2017) – Review
Review: Among the most ancient colossal monsters in Western cinemas, Kong is possibly one of the most formidable. Almost always plotted out as an antihero, the giant ape has swung across films and media from 1933, most notably in King Kong (1933) and Peter Jackson’s remake in 2005. Its recent incarnation in Kong: Skull Island, however, is the biggest of all; and it’s made that way for one reason: Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse – a world full of monsters, a clash of kaiju, Destroy All Monster v2.0.
Once human’s technology has advanced in the brink of Vietnam War in 1976, a mysterious island is discovered near Pacific. The island – Skull Island – immediately attracts a Monarch researcher, Will Randa (John Goodman); and as soon as there’s a possibility to reach the island, he assembles an expedition team – consisting of post-Vietnam U.S. army led by Lt. Col. Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), a group of scientists with San Lin (Jing Tian) and Brooks (Corey Hawkins) upfront, a photographer, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) and a mercenary, James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston). Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017) – Review